Les Rigden built and restored classic lightweights from his ‘workshop’ above a shop in Upper Gardner Street [see photo below] close to an historic area of Brighton known as The Lanes and close to the station. Entrance was through a small green door with a 49d crank as a handle, up some rickety wooden stairs with a rope for a hand rail and a bell under one of them to warn Les of your presence. Once upstairs the whole workshop was full of interesting items as well as frames and bikes Les was always busy but still had time for a chat, his work was faultless and to a very high standard. *
1948 Raleigh Record Ace
Frame No 598842P
At 23.5 inches, this is the tallest frame size available in Raleigh’s RRA range. It was owned for many years by Ted Axford. He was an avid cyclist, long-distance riding being his preference, and he rode this machine everywhere. It was restored by Les Rigden in the early 1990s, and Ted customised it with more modern parts for ease of riding. Ted was the first editor of the local cycling magazine ‘The Pedaller’ (see further down the page).
Ted was still riding the RRA regularly aged 92, an inspiration to us all; he passed away last year.
The RRA is missing its pedals, but otherwise it is in first class condition and ready to ride. There are some nicks in the paintwork, but overall the cosmetic impression is excellent. I took separate photos of its saddlebag, which you can see further down the page.
1947-1948 RALEIGH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
TED’S TOURING SADDLEBAG
1983-1984: A-WHEEL with the CTC & THE PEDALLER
* Les Rigden info with thanks to Classic Lightweights – http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/rigden-builders.html